Tuesday 11 July 2017


Recently I heard someone complain that a work was 'too handmade' and there is certainly an older prejudice that art should look like it was effortlessly executed. But it would be wrong to believe this has anything to do with an object being handmade, or being related to an unfavorable distinction between art and the artisanal.
The true culprit of this aversion for the handmade is that a handmade surface is often less uniform and therefore less legible.
I have yet to hear anyone describing Rachel Whiteread's seminal piece Ghost as being 'too handmade', even if her handling of concrete was rather crude and very do-it-yourself. The same goes for the works of Mark Manders or Juan Muñoz and as far as I can see, what separates these artists from Grayson Perry or Rebecca Warren is an easily legible, smooth, uniform surface.